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What To Expect On A Manta Alley Liveaboard
Manta Alley liveaboards take divers to the South end of Komodo island near to Flores, Indonesia. Komodo island and the tiny islet that marks Manta Alley are protected under the Komodo National Park. This means that the flora and fauna of the area above and below water are highly protected. The dive site which is made up of a submerged sea mount is covered with corals and home to a wide variety of reef fish and small critters.
The underwater topography of the sea bed in the area around Komodo and the surrounding islands makes for huge currents. These can make diving in Manta Alley more challenging, but these currents do bring plankton rich water with them. The water will be colder than other areas and the current speed several knots so it is best to stick close to your guide on this site. These plankton filled cold currents are a big attraction for, you guessed it, the mantas! They come here to feed, swimming remarkably easily in the currents.
What You Can See
Liveaboard diving in Manta Alley is of course, for the mantas. Visitors won’t be disappointed either, it is possible to see even double digits of mantas in a single dive. The younger ones can be seen playing sometimes in shallower water, if you are lucky you might see them dancing around each other. There are other rays on show as well with black ribbontails sitting on the bottom. These round rays can be quite large sometimes reaching just under 2 meters’ width. Their black spotted back make harder to spot on the dark sand but they are very beautiful so keep an eye out.
For those who can drag themselves away from the mantas and other rays, there is a lot of other wildlife on offer at Manta Alley. There are numerous reef sharks, white and black tips both patrol this reef looking for food. The reef itself is beautiful as well, full of colourful hard and soft coral full of critters for macro photographers to enjoy. Over the corals you can also spot trevallies and huge barracuda hanging above or over the side of the reef.
Getting To Manta Alley
Manta alley is in a prime location, right in the middle of the Komodo National Park on the coast of Komodo Island. The site is very popular for liveaboard diving tours, not only because of the mantas but also the beautiful reef and opportunities for photography. The best way to visit Manta Alley is by choosing a Komodo liveaboard and there is plenty of choice on offer.
There are Indonesian liveaboards to suit all tastes and budgets in Indonesia. Motor vessels that have been customised for dive tours offer a fantastic experience with all the amenities on board. By far the most popular vessels for Indonesian liveaboard diving are traditional Indonesian sailing ships. Dive cruises aboard these ships are incredibly relaxing and peaceful with luxurious cabins and traditional meals.
Most dive liveaboards depart either from Labuan Bajo on Flores or from Bali, some start at one and finish in the other. Getting to Bali is quite easy with the international airport offering flight from numerous ports of departure worldwide. Bali airport also offers connecting flights on to Labuan Bajo on Flores. There is also a three-day ferry ride between Bali and Labuan Bajo if you are feeling brave!
Manta Alley Diving Reviews
Excellent, 10 out of 10 on one day and a 9 on the others.Diving Manta Alley in May on the Samambaia
Excellent, well worth doing twiceDiving Manta Alley in August on the Cheng Ho
Getting to sea the Manta at the cleaning station is a one of a kind experience.Diving Manta Alley in July on the MV Samambaia
Amazing! What a great dive site!!!Diving Manta Alley in October on the Cheng Ho Liveaboard